In my efforts to get away from Cricket Wireless I opted to go with Virgin Mobile and their $25.00 a month plan. This is going to save me about $26.00 a month but I am not going to lose any of the service features. The $25.00 plan gives me unlimited text, media, internet and 300 talk minutes (six hours) a month. When I did the math on the amount of time I was actually using my phone for calls per month it was about four hours. There are other plans that offer you more talk time if you need it. I won’t have to pay a three dollar “convenience fee” to pay my bill and I will actually be able to use my phone to surf the net. Cricket Wireless has outdated software, poor coverage in some areas and lackluster customer service. That wasn’t always the case; now most of their “call for help” agent positions are outsourced to India.
I purchased a Kyocera Loft (S2300) after testing out a lot of phones. I was hesitant about it because the keyboard is smaller than what I am used to and I didn’t initially like the feel of it. Several people I talked to said they felt the same but they got used to it after about a week. Out of the clamshell case you get a wall plug charger, the Loft and an instruction book. It only took about five minutes to get the phone activated but some services, like sending pictures, were available for a couple of hours. It takes about 40 minutes to charge the phone completely and the battery level icon is easy to read. I won’t lie, it does take some time to get used to where everything is located on the phone but any time you switch phones you can run in to that transitional type of problem.
Pros of the Kyocera Loft: You can send text messages fast because of the keyboard, the camera lens is located in spot that doesn’t easily get blocked by your hand, beautiful screen, mini Opera browser application, supports various Instant Message programs, above average call quality, easy to add contact list module, light weight, easy to hold.
Cons of the Kyocera Loft: No flash for the camera, takes a while to get used to the keys, navigation is problematic at times, recharge port isn’t explained in the user manual, accessories are hard to find, plans can be confusing, buttons have a little wobble to them.
I paid $29.99 for the phone and $25.00 for the first month of service. Since I purchased it and had it activated on the 26th that is my due date to purchase another top up card. There is no credit check, you don’t have to show identification and as long as you buy another refill or top up card you will have constant service. I was impressed with the Opera mini browser but it comes with some bookmarks that are hard to remove. Likewise, there are numbers in the Contact field that you can not remove (emergency / 911, your phone number etc). If I am buying a phone I want to be able to delete the things I will never use, having things preloaded is nice but if you can’t remove them they will eventually give you problems. If you are scrolling through your contact list and accidentally click on the 911 number, well, that could be a fiasco waiting to happen.
Any time you get a new cellular phone you can expect some break-in time to get used to it. I am sure that this will work out a lot better than my Kyocera Lingo and I opted to get the $9.99 insurance plan that covers me for a whole year. If you are shopping around for a new phone and are shocked at some of the prices, check out the Loft with service from Virgin Mobile. This is great for teens and tweens that text a lot but don’t use the phone much; I know, hard concept to fathom but there are some that just hate to talk on the phone. I am getting 300 minutes of air time a month but I know that if I have the need to increase my plan for talk minutes I can do so without any kind of a service charge or plan charge.